Wednesday, July 16, 2014

summer, and thoughts of schooling and learning at home.

 Summer is here and we are so excited! School went until almost the end of June this year, so we have been eagerly awaiting these long days at home (or off adventuring). Summer kicked off with a camping trip with the scouts (if anyone is looking for an alternative to the boy scouts, I highly recommend checking out this inclusive, open and co-ed scouting program- it's awesome). Then there were visits from the grandparents, fourth of july barbecues and fireworks, and now it feels like we are settling into our summer groove.

Uzi started swimming lessons last week, so those kind of anchor our days at this point. We play at home, head to swimming, play at the park, run errands or go to the library and then head home for lunch and Shoshi's nap. Then while Shoshana is napping, Uzi and I have been working on projects from this book. I started to gather projects and ideas from everywhere, but then I realized this book has enough projects to take us through summer. I set him up with a lovely hardcover blank book from here, which is his summer journal and where he puts his projects we complete.

Right now we are working through the "young authors" chapter, so we are all about writing poems and making lists. I definitely want to make it a priority to follow the chapters on growing globally (maps, neighborhoods, learning about the world) and raising the citizens of tomorrow (all about feelings/emotional literacy). I know he wants to do some science projects and art (always), so we will make time for that as well.

Normally, I am all about semi-ignoring the children and letting them run wild and free. I trust that they will learn all they need to learn at the appropriate times all on their own. I pretty much never set them up with anything, they come up with ideas and peruse them on their own. Everyone compliments me for my son being so artistic, but honestly I didn't really do anything to make that happen. It was all him. I don't give him any ideas for projects or materials, I virtually never set him up with a project (seriously it has happened maybe 3 times). So when I see that so much creativity has blossomed all its own, without me and my adult concepts in the way, I feel like I don't really need to get involved or come up with projects. I often find if I set up a project, it lasts a few minutes and then I have to clean it up for way longer. Not worth it for me, and it doesn't really engage either of my kids like a project they come up with on their own.

But hey, pinterest and books and homeschooling blogs have so many good ideas that I would like to try. Since my older kiddo is in school all day all year long, I feel like I miss out on many things I want to teach him and make with him. Also, since he goes to immersion school and does not learn any English language skills at this point, I think maybe I should help teach him how to read and write a little more neatly. Although, he has been reading short reader type books lately all on his own. So maybe I actually don't have to teach him much, and it will probably all fall into place when he is ready. But, I am giving it a try because he wants to do it. I mean it's not much and it's things he really already does on his own (say, write a story and draw a picture to go along with it). He loves it so far and it's been an awesome way to send time together, just the two of us, and make it a priority to complete some of those projects he has been wanting to do forever (I'm looking at you, paper mache).

Next week he is going to his first camp! He really didn't want to go to any camps this summer, but this one popped up and is short and sweet and so perfect for him. He is excited for it and I am glad to find a little something special for him to do on his own. It's across town, so hopefully Shoshana will sleep in the stroller while I walk around the neighborhood for 3 hours! We are going to help take care of a buddy's dog who lives over there and then I am hoping to post at a cafe or ice cream shop (oh yeah) and get some drawing and writing done while the baby naps. That's the big idea. I could be stuck in the sweltering heat with a cranky baby that won't sleep too, but let's hope that doesn't happen. And hey maybe in 4 days with 2 free hours with no children awake and no home tasks to complete, I can write a children's book! Okay, maybe not the whole thing, but I will at least get started.

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